Good morning! Here are the 10 most important stories in business this Friday.
Barclays’ board just signed off on a radical restructuring of its personal and corporate banking business as it prepares for the arrival of a new CEO and tough rules forcing it to split its retail and risk-taking investment banking division. A person familiar with the matter told Business Insider the bank’s board approved a plan to split its corporate banking arm into three separate parts.
Eurozone inflation and unemployment data are coming at 10 a.m. BST (6 a.m. EST). Economists are expecting the unemployment rate to hold steady at 11%.
Britain could lose its AAA credit rating for the first time in 40 years if it leaves the EU. The Telegraph reports that Standard & Poor’s Moritz Kraemer, the agency’s chief sovereign rating officer, said Britain would be hit with a one-notch downgrade if it voted to leave the bloc, and could possibly face a double cut if relations between Britain and Brussels soured.
LinkedIn earnings smashed expectations and sent stock soaring. On Thursday the professional-networking service reported adjusted earnings per share of $US0.78 (£0.51), topping expectations for earnings of $US0.45 (£0.29). Revenue came in at $US780 million (£508.6 million) in the quarter, beating expectations for $US756 million (£493 million).
Starbucks reported in-line fourth quarter results on Thursday but gave a weak forecast for the quarter ahead. Net revenues in Q4 totaled $US4.91 billion (£3.2 billion), scraping the estimate for $US4.90 billion. However, the company’s projections for its first-quarter profits fell short of estimates, at a range of $US0.44 to $US0.45 (£0.29 to £0.30) versus $US0.47 (£0.31) expected.
Asia shares are mixed. Japan’s Nikkei is up 0.78% at time of writing (6.25 a.m. BST/2.25 a.m. EST), Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.27%, and the Shanghai Composite is up 0.61%.
Royal Bank of Scotland plans to sell off the last of its stake in US lender Citizens Financial. The Telegraph reports that RBS will sell its 21% holding, comprising nearly 110.5 million shares worth a total of $US2.7 billion (£1.8bn), through a secondary stock offering.
“China’s Google” has reported a 36% rise in revenue. Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, reported revenue of 18.38 billion yuan (£1.9 billion, $US2.9 billion), up from 13.52 billion yuan (£1.39 billion, $US2.13 billion).
Volkswagen’s US sales have grown “slightly” in October, the first full month since the emissions scandal broke, two people familiar with the matter said. The German carmaker is offering discounts on new models and other incentives in the world’s second-largest auto market. This has helped to offset a sales ban on diesel models in the US, enacted last month when VW’s rigging of emissions tests became public.
The boss of Hilton hotels is not worried about Airbnb. Chris Nassetta, CEO of Hilton Worldwide, said in a quarterly earnings call this week: “I do not believe — strongly do not believe — that they are a major threat to the core value proposition we have.”